Community-wide emissions reduced 37 per cent from 1990 levels

The City’s 2018 Inventory on community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – which measures the emissions from energy use in buildings, vehicles, waste and industry – indicates that GHG emissions in Toronto were 37 per cent lower in 2018 than in 1990.

Key findings:

  • Community-wide GHG emissions were 16.2 megatonnes (MT) eC02 in 2018, which is 37 per cent lower than in 1990. Toronto is on track to exceed its 2020 target of a 30 per cent reduction in GHG emissions.
  • Community-wide emissions increased seven per cent over 2017. The increase was due to two factors: cooler winter temperatures that drove up natural gas usage in buildings by about 10 per cent; and a sharp increase in the emissions factor for electricity. In 2018, the province increased its use of carbon intensive natural gas to generate electricity to compensate for a reduction in nuclear power generated electricity, which stemmed from the refurbishment of some nuclear power plants.
  • Buildings – residential, commercial and industrial – were the largest source of emissions in Toronto, accounting for about 55 per cent of total community-wide emissions. Natural gas, the fossil fuel used to heat buildings, continues to be the largest source of emissions community-wide, accounting for approximately 50 per cent of Toronto’s total GHG emissions.
  • Transportation was the second largest source, accounting for 36 per cent of total emissions. Passenger cars, trucks, vans, and buses accounted for approximately 97 per cent of all transportation emissions. Gasoline, the fuel used to power vehicles, accounts for about 30 per cent of Toronto’s total GHG emissions.
  • Waste was the third largest source, accounting for about nine per cent of total emissions. Waste emissions originate from all landfills, open and closed, within and outside the city’s boundary.
  • City of Toronto corporate emissions rose 13 per cent over 2017 but remained stable as a share of the total community-wide emissions, at about four per cent.


Toronto must cut community-wide GHG emissions in half in the next 10 years to achieve the City’s 2030 target of a 65 per cent reduction, based on 1990 levels. To reach net zero by 2050 all emissions must be eliminated.



This pie chart shows the three key sources of community-wide emissions in Toronto: buildings account for 55 per cent of all emissions, transportation accounts for 36 per cent, and waste 9 per cent."


  • 55 per cent of GHG emissions in Toronto comes from homes and buildings, primarily from burning natural gas to heat indoor spaces and water
  • 36 per cent of GHG emissions in Toronto are generated by transportation, with 80 per cent generated by personal vehicles
  • 9 per cent of GHG emissions in Toronto are generated by waste

Reporting annually is part of the City’s commitment to address climate change and inform the development of its climate strategy and policy. Read more about the 2018 GHG inventory in the 2018 GHG Inventory.

The City follows the Greenhouse Gas Protocol for community-scale GHG emission inventories.


Toronto’s “A List” Score on GHG Accounting and Action Reporting

As a Global Covenant of Mayors signatory, Toronto has been disclosing its GHG emissions inventory and its climate mitigation and adaptation actions annually to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) in order to share Toronto’s progress and benchmark against other cities facing similar challenges.

For the third year in a row, the City of Toronto is recognized on the 2020 Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Cities “A” List for its leadership and transparency on climate action. Toronto is one of 88 cities globally to receive an “A” rating.